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Romanian Iron Guard

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Biography

The Iron Guard (Romanian: Garda de fier pronounced [ˈɡarda de ˈfjer]) is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, anti-communist and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith. It is also considered an antisemitic organization, an ideology even going so far as to demand the introduction of “state anti-semitism”.

Originally founded by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu on July 24, 1927, as the Legion of the Archangel Michael (“Legiunea Arhanghelului Mihail”), and led by him until his death in 1938, adherents to the movement continued to be widely referred to as “legionnaires” (sometimes “legionaries”; Romanian: legionarii) and led to the organization of the “Legion” or the “Legionary Movement” (“Mişcarea Legionară”), despite various changes of the (intermittently banned) organization’s name. In March 1930 Codreanu formed the “Iron Guard” (“Garda de Fier”) as a paramilitary political branch of the Legion; this name eventually came to refer to the Legion itself. Later, in June 1935, the Legion changed its official name to the “Totul pentru Ţară” party, literally “Everything for the Country”, but commonly translated as “Everything for the Fatherland” or occasionally “Everything for the Motherland”

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